|Is this the Island of Runaway Moms?|
When my now-grown daughters were little, there were days I out-snarled Oscar the Grouch, wept, or yearned to drink wine in the middle of the day. On one of the bad days, I phoned my mother.
“You’re not thinking of running away, are you?” she said.
Running away? I hadn’t realized that was an option.
“No, I’m not thinking of running away. Am I the kind of person who runs away? Also, where would I go?”
It’s not as if Islands of Runaway Moms existed and Cheap Caribbean offered four-day/three night getaways to them.
Luckily for me, parenting’s good days outweighed the bad. Usually. More importantly, parenthood got easier. (Sometimes that doesn’t happen until kids are adults, but we all have to look forward to something, right?)
Eventually, the child who won’t let anything but Cheerios and mashed potatoes touch her lips turns into a foodie and scouts out restaurants for you to try. The one who insists all slumber parties be held at her house because other people’s bathrooms, food, and rules make her anxious, morphs into a world traveler.
Recently, I viewed my adult daughters in new-to-me ways. Late last week, Hubs and I went out of town. On Friday evening, Older Daughter checked my house and fed the cats: the elusive Smokey, needy Scout, and oh-so-friendly Lucky. Later that night, I texted her. “Was everything okay with cats and house?”
Here’s what she texted back: “Yup. Smokey even hung out. We watched WHAT NOT TO WEAR. Not that he needs any pointers, being perfect and all.”
I laughed and laughed. Admittedly, there’s a genetic component at work here, and not everyone responds to cat-oriented humor. In my family, apparently it doesn’t skip a generation. Hallelujah!
On Saturday, Younger Daughter took photographs of a friend and me. Friend needed updated shots for a website and Facebook. I need them for a writers’ group website and this blog.
As Younger Daughter bobbed and stretched to get the best shots, I marveled at her ability to put her subjects at ease and nudge us into showing our best sides. She became invisible behind her camera. The shoot wasn't about her.
Parents hope kids grow up to be responsible adults. When they turn out to be people we not only love but enjoy spending time with, that’s lagniappe or a bonus.
If I’d known all those years ago what I know now, I’d have taken fewer aspirin and avoided the whole teeth-grinding thing. Those fantasies about running away wouldn’t have made it beyond the suitcase-packing stage.
Parenthood get easier and becomes a lot more fun.